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Children and temperature

Bernice Clark |
A mild increased temperature in young children can be the sign of serious infection as well as the lower temperature.

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Normal body temperature is an individual value and it vary between 36 and 37C (96.8F-98.6F). When we talk about children, increased temperature makes bigger problems to you, they parents, than to children who usually stand it much better.

It is wise to measure your kid's temperature, but it is also even more important to pay attention to child's behaviour and how it look generally than to blindly follow the temperature value. During the day temperature may vary. In a normal situations it will be the lowest around 4am and the highest around 4pm.

If your child have increased temperature, drinks a lot of fluid, look at you with its big blue eyes, smiles and wants to play, you probably have no reasons to be worry - today. There's no need to use drugs to lower down temperatures below 38,5C (101.3F). Your kid's defensive system already works, so give it a chance to make its job.

It is important to visit paediatrician if increased temperature is followed by headache, crying, abdominal pain or any other symptom that makes your child seriously uncomfortable. If your child doesn't respond to a stimuli, if is sleepy and slow - that in new born babies and children younger than two years old can be the sign of meningitis - visit the doctor. If your child is younger than two years and has increased temperature for more than one day visit the doctor. Do the same if they are older than two years and have increased temperature for more than three days.

A mild increased temperature from 38C (100.4F) to 39C (102.2F) in young children and new born babies can be the sign of a serious infection. But, some serious infections in new born babies may lower body temperature. Pay attention to their behaviour and if you notice any sign that makes you suspicious - even if there's no temperature - visit your paediatrician.

Be sure that your child takes enough fluids. Lack of fluid in the organism is more often the consequence than a cause of the higher temperature, and exactly lack of a fluid represents the impulse for the further increase of the temperature. So, as old people would say: Just tank them with a fluid.

Keep in mind that child's legs and arms may be cold on touch even when that body "burns". That's way touching the forehead is not a trusty method to judge the temperature level.

Showering a child is very effective and recommended method to lower down the temperature. It is good for you, too. Lukewarm bandages are also recommended, but for not longer than five minutes because you don't want the opposite effect. If you child has increased temperature but its whole body is cold, don't use those methods. When you get syrup or drug that will lower down the temperature, keep in mind that it will start to work between 30 and 40 minutes. So, don't expect the miracle to happens immediately.

Emergency situations are temperatures higher than 40C (104F), the increased temperature in children younger than three months, a temperature lower than usually, when your child has a breathing problems (it breathes slowly and heavy), when it doesn't wont to drink, doesn't respond to stimuli, or has a strong pains in muscles.

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